Energy and environmental weaknesses

Opportunities in suburban spontaneous settlements

In Rome territory, the most of recent spontaneous/illegal settlements are growth in environmental high quality areas. The damage to local ecosystems may be balanced by a series of well-defined actions. In a renewal process, site-specific context, local urban texture and building typology offer some interesting opportunities in urban renewable energy integration, energy saving, sustainable use of water , waste treatment and local transport organization. To elaborate these strategies is necessary to have a deep knowledge of environmental and morphological conditions of site at a large scale of view, considering entire system through all anthropical and natural components.
Suburban settlements have the opportunity to became energy auto-producers and became a functional and active part of a territorial energy “smart-grid”, the future model of energy production and distribution based upon renewable energy sources, a model where big-plants loose their reason to exist in favour of a diffuse systems of micro-producer and “eco-urban islands”. Settlement’s eco-sustainable conversion gives also the opportunity to produce new aesthetics and a new interpretation schemes of urban transformations.

Carlo Brizzoli, January 2009